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Ahmr vol 1 no 1 january april 2015

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AHMR is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed on-line journal created to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects (socioeconomic, political, legislative and developmental) of Human Mobility in Africa. Through the publication of original research, policy discussions and evidence research papers, AHMR provides a comprehensive forum devoted exclusively to the analysis of contemporaneous trends, migration patterns and some of the most important migration-related issues.

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Ahmr vol 1 no 1 january april 2015

  1. 1. AFRICAN HUMAN MOBILITY REVIEW Volume 1 Number 1 January – April 2015 Upholding refugee rights: Cessation, transnationalism and law’s limitations in the Rwandan case Macroeconomic determinants: analysis of ‘Pull’ factors of international migration in South Africa Local Integration and Congolese Forced Migrants in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania The impact of remittance on poverty: evidence from the South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) The Somali diaspora, the migration-development nexus and state- building in Somaliland
  2. 2. ii AHMR _________________________________________________________________________________ Chief Editor Dr Mulugeta F. Dinbabo University of the Western Cape, South Africa Board Members Dr Beneberu Assefa Wondimagegnhu Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia Dr Delali Margaret Badasu University of Ghana, Ghana Dr Edmond Agyeman University of Education, Winneba, Ghana Dr Ernest Angu Pineteh Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa Dr Joseph Yaro University of Ghana, Ghana Prof Laurence Piper University of the Western Cape, South Africa Dr Linda Oucho African Migration and Development Policy Centre, Kenya Prof Loren Landau University of Witwatersrand, South Africa Dr Lothar Smith Radboud University, Netherlands Dr Meselu Alamnie Mulugeta Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia Prof Raul Delagdo Wise Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Mexico Dr Razack Karriem University of the Western Cape, South Africa Dr Sharon Penderis University of the Western Cape, South Africa Prof Shimelis Gulema Stony Brook University, New York Prof Thomas Faist Bielefeld University, Germany ____________________________________________________________________________________ AHMR is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed on-line journal created to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects (socio-economic, political, legislative and developmental) of Human Mobility in Africa. Through the publication of original research, policy discussions and evidence research papers, AHMR provides a comprehensive forum devoted exclusively to the analysis of contemporaneous trends, migration patterns and some of the most important migration-related issues. AHMR is a member of the federation of centers for migration studies, with institutions in New York, Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, Basel, Sao Paulo and Manila. Articles and reviews in AHMR reflect the opinions of the contributors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission from the publisher. Copyright © 2015 by the INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN MOBILITY IN AFRICA 47, Commercial St, 8001 Cape Town – South Africa Tel. 0027 021 465 6433 Email: editor@sihma.org.za Webpage: www.sihma.org.za
  3. 3. iii African Human Mobility Review ___________________________________________________________________________ Volume 1 Number 1 January – April, 2015 ARTICLES 1 Upholding refugee rights: Cessation, transnationalism and law’s limitations in the Rwandan case. Laura Parker 27 Macroeconomic determinants: analysis of ‘Pull’ factors of international migration in South Africa Mulugeta F. Dinbabo & Themba Nyasulu 54 Local Integration and Congolese Forced Migrants in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Christian Pangilinan 79 The impact of remittance on poverty: evidence from the South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) Seyfe Worku & Joyce Marangu 101 The Somali diaspora, the migration-development nexus and state- building in Somaliland Monica Fagioli-Ndlovu
  4. 4. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 1 Upholding Refugee Rights: Cessation, Transnationalism and Law’s Limitations in the Rwandan Case Laura Parker1 Abstract The cessation clause epitomises the 1951 Refugee Convention’s internal barriers to the full achievement of refugees’ rights. By examining the controversial application of this provision in the case of Rwandan refugees, this paper demonstrates the resultant infringements on refugees’ human rights, and signals a key obstacle in understanding refugee experiences: institutional insistence on subjugating refugee perspectives and knowledge. This top-heavy ‘knowing what’s best’ for refugees must cede to alternative conceptualisations of refugee rights, especially in the well-worn durable solutions debate. A rights-based approach would see transnational mobility as a solution to challenges endured by camp-based refugees in particular. The Rwandan case study is grounded in theories of today’s membership-based nation-state paradigm, and questions whether re-inscribing refugees as primary agents of their own repatriation (with or without return) can bridge the divide inherent in the exclusionary citizenship- centric logic which ultimately structures the refugee rights system, and can adequately address problems rooted in complex identity politics. Keywords: Cessation clause, refugees, repatriation, rights, Rwanda, UNHCR Introduction Protection space for the displaced is increasingly beleaguered, globally. Upholding refugee rights in the era of ‘Fortress Europe,’ post-9/11 Islamophobia and multiplying, interconnected armed conflicts, is a Sisyphean pursuit. Against such a backdrop, this article focuses on a particular challenge found within the international legal regime governing refugee protection: the ‘ceased circumstances’ cessation clauses. This article discusses the global treaty enshrining specific refugee rights, the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol (hereafter referred to as the ‘Refugee Convention’), in whose first article the cessation clauses feature. Here the 1 Independent researcher, presently unaffiliated. Much of this research was undertaken while an MA candidate in 2013 at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. P.O. Box 77539, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. E-mail : lauracparker@hotmail.com
  5. 5. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 2 understanding of ‘refugee rights,’ however, is more expansive: the term encompasses ‘human rights.’ That the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is referenced in the Refugee Convention’s preamble underscores this aspiration, whilst the major international human rights instruments drafted afterwards also confer protections and freedoms on refugees. Various limitations to refugee rights are inherent in the Refugee Convention; not in itself unusual, since most human rights are qualified. To conceptualise such limitations as internal challenges to refugee rights is no exaggeration: the lived experiences of those subject to such limitations often amount to rights violations. ‘Challenge’ is invoked to cover encroachments upon rights, practical impediments to exercising rights, and more outright breaches. Fundamental to the refugee rights regime is protection against refoulement, however the Refugee Convention wavers this for those merely suspected of having committed certain serious crimes (Article 1[f]), in contrast to the inviolability of non-refoulement in human rights treaties. Additionally, the Convention ‘excludes all mention of civil and political rights once a person has attained refugee status’ (Harris Rimmer, 2010, p. 1), again restricting protection standards beyond those of human rights regimes. Indeed the Refugee Convention’s less than generous language (‘burden,’ the ‘problem of refugees’) characterises an entire system that circumscribes our understanding of refugees as primarily individuals and rights-bearers, rather than aid recipients requiring logistical management. The ‘ceased circumstances’ cessation clauses, Articles 1(c)(5) and (6), epitomise the Refugee Convention’s internal barriers to the full achievement of refugees’ rights. They assert that a refugee (or person of no nationality) ‘can no longer, because the circumstances with which he has been recognised as a refugee have ceased to exist, continue to refuse to avail himself of the protection of the country of his nationality’ (or former habitual residence). By examining the controversial application of this provision in the case of Rwandan refugees, the resultant infringements on refugees’ human rights are demonstrated, and signal a key obstacle in understanding refugee experiences: institutional insistence on subjugating the perspectives and knowledge of refugees themselves. This top-heavy ‘knowing what’s best’ for refugees must cede to alternative conceptualisations of refugee rights, especially in the well-worn durable solutions debate: a rights-based approach
  6. 6. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 3 could see transnational mobility as a solution to challenges endured by camp- based refugees in particular. After analysing the cessation clauses and their application to Rwandans, the more systemic challenges to the human rights of refugees are considered, grounding this case study in theories of today’s membership-based nation- state paradigm. The study examines this system’s attendant rights challenges in the context of repatriation, and evaluates the search for solutions that uphold rights and re-inscribe refugees as primary agents in such responses. It is debatable whether this can bridge the divide inherent in the global refugee regime, between the heroic imaginary of the international community and humanitarian laws, and an abstract refugee Other, ‘subjected to the law but… not law’s subjects’ (Douzinas, 2000, p. 104). However, recognition invites understanding: therefore such power hierarchies are critiqued throughout. Cessation: On Paper and in Practice The cessation clause (the articles are popularly conflated thus) is almost as divisive amongst scholars as it is for refugees. It is deemed a contravention of the freedom of choice, based on ‘the outrageous proposition that “international law… requires that exile should not… be perpetuated forever particularly without a good cause”’ (UNHCR Inter-Office Memorandum on cessation for pre-1991 Ethiopian refugees, cited in Verdirame & Harrell-Bond, 2005, p. 112), and through which refugees’ supposed ‘protector’ Agency ‘call[s] on states to do less’ (Verdirame & Harrell-Bond, 2005, p. 113). Alternatively, it is promoted for solving protracted displacement, enabling ‘a right not to be a refugee’ (Aleinikoff & Poellot, 2012, p. 9), or even dismissed as an administrative formality which ‘may not have any direct impact on the life of the individual(s) concerned’ (Feller et al., 2003, p. 546). Its instrumentalisation as a means of limiting asylum applications by ‘designat[ing] a country of origin as generally “safe” in the context of refugee status determination’ (Feller et al., 2003, p. 546), also encourages violations of the right to seek asylum. Subsequent discussion of cessation in the Rwandan context eschews an overly legalistic approach, favouring socio-historical analysis, indispensable, for meaningful response to the rights challenges these refugees face. One questions whether legal rights frameworks can adequately address problems rooted in complex identity politics, particularly in the Great Lakes, where transnational ethnic identities interact, often violently, with
  7. 7. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 4 nationally-delineated citizenship, whose exclusionary logic ultimately structures the refugee rights system. Countries of asylum may revoke refugee status following fundamental changes in the country of origin that end the circumstances which caused the status to be granted. This terminates those rights accompanying refugee status: refugees’ rights hinge upon states’ sovereign right to control access to the political community. Beyond ascertaining the change in circumstances (a resource-intensive exercise, readily compromised), and abiding by the refoulement prohibition (through individual status determination of those continuing to allege fear of persecution), the asylum state wishing to mandate repatriation has no further obligations. Therefore, UNHCR interprets this provision liberally, with a view to minimising violations of refugees’ rights. Nonetheless, UNHCR’s interpretation, albeit authoritative, does not bind states. Various guidelines on cessation have been issued since 1991, although this interest only arose once repatriation became northern states’ preferred durable solution, suggesting that global power hierarchies, rather than refugees’ needs, set protection priorities (Siddiqui, 2011, p. 7). These guidelines emphasise that change must be fundamental, durable, and establish effective protection in the ‘home’ country (UNHCR, 1999). Timescales are proposed for assessing durability of change, and examining a country’s human rights record is advised, particularly following a violent regime overthrow. The threshold for mandated repatriation is thus relatively high, in contrast to that required for voluntary repatriation (the only kind UNHCR may promote or facilitate, as per its Statute). When refugees opt to return, UNHCR can assist them without ascertaining whether fundamental change has occurred (indeed voluntary repatriation frequently happens soon after hostilities wane) before reconstruction or reconciliation processes; here the emphasis is on refugees’ consent and agency. This adds to the conflation of the rules binding UNHCR and those binding states: the latter may invoke the fact that UNHCR assists return to insecure locations as justification for mandating repatriation to places perceived as safer. The complementary 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (OAU Convention) increases potential for confusion in African contexts: despite affirming ‘the essentially voluntary character of repatriation [to be] …respected in all cases’ (Article 5[1]), its own ‘cessation clauses’ (Articles 1[4][f] and [g]) ‘functionally impose expulsion, because they apply without
  8. 8. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 5 regard to the cessation of the risks of persecution or violence in the State of origin’ (Fitzpatrick and Bonoan, 2003, pp. 529-530). Additionally, given the OAU Convention’s recognition of refugees prima facie, on grounds of generalised violence, ‘an end to hostilities has typically been used as a key indicator that repatriation can take place’ (Hovil, 2010, p. 2). This ignores the way war ‘may profoundly reshape a polity and, in the process, create new threats to particular individuals who may continue to require protection as refugees’ (Hovil, 2010, p. 2), signalling the need to foreground rights-based protection and ‘durable solutions,’ rather than perpetuating state-centric preferences for return. UNHCR insists that the exemptions permitted to group status cessation under Articles 1(c)(5) and (6) of the Refugee Convention, which affirm that cessation shall not apply to a statutory refugee ‘able to invoke compelling reasons arising out of previous persecution for refusing to return to the country of his former habitual residence,’ are also applicable to Convention refugees (those forced to flee post-1951). Whilst literal interpretation is possible, state practice upholds the view that allowing exemptions to the cessation clause has become an international norm reflecting ‘a general humanitarian principle that is now well-grounded’ (UNHCR, 2003, para. 21). James Hathaway continues to denounce the extension of this provision, stating that ‘UNHCR has regrettably invoked an unwieldy claim of customary international law’ (Hathaway, 2005, p. 942), a view inferred from the decision not to formally extend exemption when drafters of the 1967 Protocol were considering the original Refugee Convention’s temporal scope, and backed up with restrictive judgments in Australian and German litigation of cessation clause exemptions. This reiterates the malleability of treaty law, again hinting that rights-based legal regimes contingent on interpretation by states can themselves exacerbate refugees’ problems. There is less consensus around guidelines elaborating the ‘compelling reasons’ for exemption. Although reasons such as persistent trauma, especially in the context of genocide, are widely accepted, it is improbable that in the Rwandan case, ‘every person who feared the genocide or acts/threats of severe violence be exempted’ (Cliche-Rivard, 2012). UNHCR also suggests that strong family or economic ties to host countries are justified under this provision. State practice, exemplified in the Rwandan situation, contradicts this, allowing third-generation refugees to be returned, despite cultivating land or running businesses in Uganda. This may violate numerous socio-economic rights, and also constitute a potentially
  9. 9. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 6 traumatic second upheaval; additionally, if large numbers of returnees are visited upon post-conflict societies with weak economies, there is a risk of reigniting conflict due to resource disputes. All the aforementioned guidelines insist on the value of objective country of origin information from multiple sources being provided by UNHCR to states assessing whether conditions are ripe for a cessation declaration. This epitomises the marginalisation of refugees’ own knowledge and understanding of the circumstances affecting the continuation of their exile. The objective and subjective components comprising the ‘well-founded fear’ from which refugee status stems, are theoretically given equal weight in status determination processes. Declarations of group cessation undermine the subjective element that constitutes refugeehood, through the homogenisation of individual experience and fears into an assumed group dynamic, deemed interpretable, or knowable by foreign states. UNHCR further assuages individual subjectivities in the Rwandan context, referring to ‘reluctance’ and ‘apprehension’ rather than ‘fear’ (UNHCR, 2011b, para. 2). This dilution of the refugee subjective opens up space for the subjectivities of the state; political and economic motives caneasily displace individuals’ personal concerns in the decision-making frame. The ‘objectivistic interpretation of the cessation clause’ belies an apparent legalistic neutrality, constructing an image of refugees as ‘rational actors when they decide to return but moved by extraneous motives if they decide to stay’ (Chimni, 2004, p. 62). Rwandan government comments that ‘Rwandan refugees must not hide behind illogical arguments,’ epitomise this rhetoric (Réunion Tripartite, 2013b). Deconstructing such representations is vital to understanding the disenfranchisement of refugees within the very regime designed to protect their rights. Rwandan Reactions According disproportionate weight to international institutional ‘knowledge’ of the political dynamics of displacement may backfire, as has historically been exemplified in the Rwandan context. After the 1994 genocide, UNHCR misjudged Rwandan refugees’ fears and motivations, and encountered great difficulties managing camps in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), resulting in their effective appropriation by génocidaires in exile. The Agency distributed hyperbolic repatriation propaganda (Pottier, 1999), and did not
  10. 10. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 7 facilitate communication between the camps and returnees, cementing perceptions that ‘UNHCR was aligning itself with Kigali’ (Pottier, 1996, p. 420). Consequently, it was discredited by Rwandans across the region, despite greater commitment to unmediated information through ‘come-and-see, go- and-tell’ visits and through sharing statistics on returnee integration with counterparts in host countries. UNHCR’s recommendation in 2009 that asylum states apply the cessation clause to this population has thus sparked vociferous campaigns by refugees and advocacy groups. Many perceive UNHCR to be prematurely acquiescing to Rwanda’s persistent lobbying for cessation, casting further doubts on its impartiality. Almost two decades on, the allegation that ‘at no point has the international community sufficiently understood camp conditions and political processes to feel confident that it understood “the pulse” of the refugee mass’ (Pottier, 1996, pp. 428-9) arguably remains valid. The Rwandan government has also mistrusted UNHCR given the génocidaire screening debacle in DRC. It is conceivable that willingness to regain governmental cooperation has driven the Agency’s support for cessation, and dissuaded it from addressing other tensions that instil fear in Rwandan refugees abroad, namely the widespread belief that Kigali orchestrated the M23 forces in Congo. After multiple postponements, contravening the principle that ‘refugees should not be subjected to constant review of their… status’ (UNHCR, 1999, para. 2), the clause came into effect on 30 June 2013 in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Republic of Congo for Rwandans displaced between 1959 and 31st December 1998. Other countries refrained from declaring cessation, citing legal and logistical considerations, amongst others (IRIN, 2013). The Government of Rwanda, however, has frequently used broad brush strokes to cloud over legal nuance, resulting in misinformation in the Kigali-aligned press. References to UNHCR itself ‘implementing’ or ‘declaring’ the cessation clause (rather than ‘recommending’ that it be invoked by states, the only entities with the capacity to do so), and unwieldy claims that this clause is now ‘invoked’ or ‘declared’ internationally, rather than on a country-by-country basis, pepper official discourse (MIDIMAR, 2011). Affirmations such as ‘Rwandans who fled the country between 1959 and 1998 have lost their refugee status across the world’ (Government of Rwanda, 2013), coupled with suggestions that non-implementing countries would be ‘in flagrant violation of international rules for this status’ (New Times, 2014a), and warnings to refugees themselves (‘You never know what will happen on the day they will
  11. 11. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 8 lose the status; what if their property is vandalized by nationals in host countries,’ and ‘help these people return when they can actually carry their belongings other [sic] than wait for a night raid where they may be thrown on trucks and deported promptly’ [Mukantabana, 2013]), illustrate how ‘the deployment of international refugee law – in particular the concept of cessation – has become one framework for… manipulation: it has been used as a threat rather than a mechanism for generating protection… political manoeuvring with refugees caught somewhere in the middle’ (Hovil, 2013). This diverse demographic for which cessation has been invoked or recommended encompasses predominantly Tutsis who fled Rwanda around independence and under Hutu majority rule; those who fled during the 1994 genocide, and mostly Hutus who fled the invading forces that ended the genocide and remain in power. The inclusion of a cut-off point, implying persecution of a different nature persists, hints that change in Rwanda is not yet fundamental. While prospering economically, and visibly at peace, Rwanda curtails freedom of expression and opposition politics through discriminatory application of ‘divisionism’ laws banning ‘genocide ideology,’ and its human rights record attracts criticism. Dissidents continue to seek asylum abroad, in small numbers, where they have been pursued by government agents (BBC, 2010, 2011 and 2014). The gacaca community-courts which tried vast numbers of suspected génocidaires concluded mid-2012, removing what the international community deemed a significant cause of fear for refugees remaining abroad. However, the collective guilt they helped construct around Hutus persists; reconciliation is arguably cosmetic; suspicions run deep and assumptions prevail that those who fear return must be genocide perpetrators (Straus & Waldorf, 2011). Indeed the initial failure to distinguish génocidaires from Rwandan civilian refugees in DRC cemented this tarred-by-association perception early on. Returnees in recent years continued to receive assistance from UNHCR and its partners more than a year after their date of return, implying that sustainable livelihoods (and the host of economic and social rights these anchor) are not guaranteed, particularly in rural areas (Cwik, 2011). These ‘push factors’ have led many Rwandan refugees to fear violations of their rights were they to return under the cessation clause. However, the choice of alternatives formally triggered by the cessation clause is problematic in practice. Resettlement prospects are negligible, and UNHCR admits the
  12. 12. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 9 dearth of local integration opportunities regionally (UNHCR, 2011b). NGOs and refugees have reported aggressive official acts which appear to further preclude this option. Rwandans in eastern DRC are subject to discrimination and targeted violence amid sporadic unrest which mobilises ethnic divisions. Rwandans encamped in Uganda have seen their plots reallocated to Congolese refugees (Hovil, 2010 p. 1), and some suffered forcible return to Rwanda by Ugandan authorities; others died in the process (UNHCR, 2010). Mass deportations of Rwandans also took place from Tanzania in 1996, and Burundi in 2009. By November 2013, only 26 Rwandan refugees in the Republic of Congo had requested to return voluntarily to Rwanda, and only 19 requests for local integration (remaining in the Republic of Congo but as a Rwandan immigrant, with a Rwandan passport) had been received, compared to 4026 requests for exemption from cessation (Réunion Tripartite, p. 6). Many other Rwandans see no point in pursuing the final option of seeking exemption and retaining refugee status through individualised status determination (RSD). Indeed following the declaration of cessation in certain states in June 2013, it was noted that ‘no proper system has been created for those with “compelling reasons” to be exempted’ (Cacharani & Cliche-Rivard, 2013), and the potential for substandard mechanisms is real. NGOs reported in 2013 that ‘Liberian refugees in Gambia applying for exemption from cessation, which came into force in June 2012, have not received documents verifying their request for exemption; they find themselves without valid documentation’ (FAHAMU, 2013). In Uganda, rejection under some form of RSD aiming to allow exemption from the cessation clause, could be seen as a foregone conclusion. In 2010, 98% of asylum applications by Rwandans had reportedly been denied (Cwik, 2011), while in 2011, 95.5% were denied (UNHCR, 2011c), suggesting a climate in which the ‘rebuttable presumption’ that refugees no longer have well-founded fears of persecution is in fact unchallengeable (UNHCR, 1999, para. 32). Whilst recognition rates of Rwandans undergoing RSD by the Ugandan government rose to 41% in 2013 (UNHCR, 2013), this is a new development whose durability cannot yet be assessed; continued mistrust on the part of Rwandan refugees in Uganda is understandable. Similarly, in Malawi, the only country which did invoke the cessation clause for which UNHCR publishes recognition statistics of Rwandan refugees, acceptance rates decreased significantly, in the period just prior to cessation, from 46.5% in 2011 to 20.4% in 2012 (UNHCR, 2011 and 2012). This potentially fosters refugees’ doubts about the ‘rebuttable presumption’
  13. 13. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 10 and the value of individualised exemption processes in this context too. However, the recognition rate of Rwandan refugees by the Malawian government, as reported by UNHCR, leaps to 100% in 2013, although the caseload statistics upon which this is based are not published (UNHCR, 2013). Nonetheless, this high rate, whether it comprises new arrivals or individualised exemption proceedings for those subject to cessation, strongly signals the persistence of persecution in today’s Rwanda, undermining the notion that change here is fundamental and durable. Given that the population subject to cessation includes individuals who fled in 1994, it is important to note that UNHCR’s Guidelines on Exemption Procedures specify genocide as a distinct act of persecution, a ‘compelling’ enough reason to trigger an exemption to status cessation (UNHCR, 2011, para. 27). Paragraph 28(b) of these Guidelines also identifies ‘development of a deep-seated distrust of the country [of origin], even if it may at times seem irrational’ as a plausible response to severe persecution. That they were issued while the Agency was advocating the cessation for a large group of refugees who experienced genocide further delegitimises UNHCR as incoherent and uncomprehending in the eyes of Rwandan refugees, fomenting resistance to its policies. These concerns are well known to UNHCR, through direct consultations and external advocacy (Hovil, 2010, p. 3). Refugees’ perspectives have been knowingly side-lined, rather than merelyoverlooked unawares. The survival strategising that this disingenuous attitude and the climate of mistrust and uncertainty necessitate, such as ‘disappearing from the official radar and pretending to be Ugandan or Congolese’, amounts to the denial of ‘not just effective national protection, but also most of the rights concomitant with refugee status, the international protective “citizenship” that is triggered in the absence of national capacity’ (Hovil, 2010, p. 4). Rights violations induced by cessation can take place both if the refugee remains in the country of refuge, as well as when they are returned. If an individual is not granted exemption to the cessation of their status, yet they have no intention of returning, unless an alternative migration status is accessible to them, they effectively remain undocumented, or even stateless, in the former country of asylum. Precarious migration status commonly exposes people to exploitative working conditions and attendant infringements of rights to dignity and security, located in the Preamble and Article (9) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),
  14. 14. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 11 as well as to detention and deportation, which may amount in some cases to refoulement. The question of non-returning, non-exempted Rwandese refugees remains unresolved for countries such as the Republic of Congo, which nonetheless intends to pursue cessation regardless (Réunion Tripartite, 2013a and 2013b). Potential rights violations abound also for those whose return is carried out under the application of the cessation clause. A Rwandese exile of the anti-Tutsi pogroms of the 1970s, who has built up a successful livelihood in Kampala would see many of their economic (and potentially property) rights violated if forced to repatriate under the cessation clause. A refugee child of the 1990s from Rwanda living in Zambia would have their ties to the only country they have really known cut when obliged to return, spelling clear infringements of social and cultural rights. A Francophone refugee schooled in the Republic of Congo could face discrimination at school, or when job-hunting back in Rwanda given the now-influential Anglophone communities who returned from their own, earlier exile after the genocide ended (Longman, 2011). The right to non-discrimination, enshrined in its many guises in almost all international human rights treaties, most notably in ICCPR Articles (2), (3), (4)(1), and (26), may prove unevenly upheld in a context where some harbour beliefs about the background of those who only return twenty years after the genocide’s conclusion. Although a collection of imputed characteristics and actions (i.e. assumptions that a returnee participated in the genocide) may not lead to outright persecution in the vast majority of cases, this should not preclude acknowledgement of rights violations, of non-discrimination and economic rights in particular, in a place where diverse groups of returnees, following profound social and demographic upheaval, compete for scarce resources. Indeed the existence of a small number of serious rights violations, such as the persecution of a returnee on account of anti-government activism, should not diminish the significance of widespread incidences of less egregious socio-economic rights violations, which can affect large groups of ‘cessation returnees.’ The potential for human rights violations, both for ‘cessation returnees’ and those who defy its invocation to stay in countries of asylum, is high. Declarations of cessation must be taken with the utmost caution. Rights-speak
  15. 15. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 12 It is debatable whether refugee rights differ from, or are supplementary to, the regular array of human rights that states agree to respect and protect. The Refugee Convention rights, rather than an additional protective layer, are more like stop-gap protections, directly complementing the human rights rendered most unattainable in situations of displacement. They form a safety net, special protections that neither enhance existing rights regimes, nor are remedial, legally speaking. The Refugee Convention has no complaints mechanism by which to procure redress for violations of its provisions, unlike major human rights treaties such as the Convention Against Torture or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Practically, however, the formal response mechanisms these instruments prescribe are out of refugees’ reach and forced displacement and its concurrent injustices are rarely addressed in national and international courts. Lofty ideals of ‘access to justice’ discourses are downscaled; in a forced migration context this is generally understood as relating to ‘access to asylum’ through legal aid in (often) northern states. Whether this difficulty in securing legal rights amounts to the disenfranchisement of refugees is debatable. If refugees cannot exercise their human rights, do they still possess them? What does formal possession of rights mean in practice, if rights are not upheld? And does such a challenge to the very concept of ‘refugee rights’ even matter, when advocating for a less exclusively legalistic approach to rights in general? The prevalence of ‘human rights’ as a buzzword through which claims of unjust treatment, or community ideals, are expressed has arguably devalued the concept of human rights in the popular imagination. It is suggested that while ‘rights-speak’ is a useful idiom and advocacy tool uniting societies globally, it also crowds out other ways of voicing experiences of persecution and flight and requesting tolerance, respect and humane treatment. Adherence to legalistic methods of interpreting refugees’ problems is risky, for ‘law and rights… nominate what exists and condemn the rest to invisibility and marginality’ (Douzinas, 2013, p. 66). To assert a claim to a right can distract from the foundations of that right, the moral justifications based on contested notions of what is right or wrong that both law and humanitarian actors shy away from in an attempt to assert neutrality. The inclusive exclusion Giorgio Agamben diagnoses at the heart of the refugee rights paradigm, rights attached to membership as citizens, not deriving from
  16. 16. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 13 bare humanity (Agamben, 1998), could thus be rendered a bypassable obstacle, affecting only one sphere of engagement (the legal). To activate alternative strategies for the protection of refugees’ safety and dignity at all stages of flight would overcome his almost paralytically pessimistic critique that ‘precisely the figure that should have incarnated the rights of man par excellence, the refugee, constitutes instead the radical crisis of this concept’ (Agamben, 1995, p. 116). This would render extra-legal, non-rights-based educational or collaborative economic ventures a potential response to what are traditionally expressed as rights violations. Far from utopian, UNHCR’s ‘Imagine Co-Existence’ programmes following conflict in the Balkans illustrate these methods and ideals, as do initiatives targeting host communities more generally. A fresh conceptualisation of refugees’ ordeals outside a rights- framework may also help address their restricted freedoms in countries where rights discourses are especially politicised and manipulated by right- wing governments du jour to exclude foreigners. One does not seek to dismiss rights frameworks as a means of understanding the challenges refugees face. While political, historical and social complexities do get simplified into rights formulae, this is understandable, for human rights movements aim to place checks and balances on the exercise of political power. However, the flipside is also true, and to understand how ‘rights have also become the main tool of identity politics’ (Douzinas, 2009), it is necessary to examine how power and politics shape rights themselves. The distinction between citizen and alien is central to nation-building projects. Citizens are accorded certain rights; their collective identity is constituted in contradistinction to the Other. The refugee, by bursting into the nation-state space and claiming rights purely on account of their humanity, disrupts this fictional division: ‘breaking up the identity between man and citizen, between nativity and nationality, the refugee throws into crisis the original fiction of sovereignty’ (Agamben, 1995, p. 117). The refugee thus threatens the constitutive fabric of the nation, and in asking for recognition, reminds citizens of the Other within. The limitations of legal responses are self-evident: ‘The law divides inside from outside and is then asked to heal the scar or bandage it by offering limited protection to its own creations’ (Douzinas, 2000, p. 358). The ‘Right’ Direction: Going Back or Moving Forwards?
  17. 17. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 14 In order to invigorate the sometimes dead-end discussions of durable solutions for Rwandan refugees, it may be helpful to re-examine concepts of repatriation and return. If exercising rights depends on officially ‘belonging’ to a state, the three idealised durable solutions essentially enact a ‘right to have rights’ (Hannah Arendt, cited in Long, 2010, para. 17). Repatriating involuntarily, however, under the cessation clause, is unlikely to re-construct the ruptured bond between state and citizen required for national protection to have meaningful effect. Reducing repatriation to a physical act of border- crossing fails to capture the political nature of this process, and refugees’ agency therein. To gain membership of a protective polity engenders some measure of influence towards shaping that community, generally through voting rights; political agency is central to protection (Long, 2011a). This reinstatement of rights and membership may well occur away from the ‘home’ state, separating citizenship from residency. Katy Long argues that ‘return is not synonymous with repatriation: movement is not the cause of displacement but a symptom, and may in fact provide an important remedy to some refugees’ needs’ (Long, 2010, para. 238). Conversely, the international system’s fixation with sending refugees ‘home’ idealises pre-flight conditions, which may be unwarranted, or even nonsensical in the case of refugee children born abroad. One answer would therefore be to leverage, rather than restrict, as per current tendencies, the very mobility that characterises refugees’ lives. Also termed ‘transnationalism’ (Van Hear, 2006), this strategy offers clear advantages, at least on paper. Facilitating refugees’ continued stay in the country of asylum, without requiring their naturalisation, can be achieved by issuing country of origin passports, and activating alternative channels to regularise their presence as migrants. This is viable only for those who agree to be seen as voluntarily re- availing themselves of the ‘home’ country’s protection through the acquisition of the national passport and use of the consular authorities. It implies the re- forging of the previously broken link with the country of origin, repatriation decoupled from physical return. This option respects multifaceted, internationalised identities, and is more realistic than waiting for other highly improbable ‘traditional’ durable solutions, such as third country resettlement or integration through naturalisation. Even if full naturalisation were on offer, which is rare, refugees may not wish to acquire the citizenship of the asylum state as it can preclude any eventual option of return, however unrealistic in the present, particularly as many states do not allow for dual citizenship. By
  18. 18. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 15 relinquishing citizenship of the country of origin, refugees may risk a period of undocumented ‘statelessness’ in the not-unprecedented event that delays in issuing the ‘new’ citizenship arise. Foregoing one’s original citizenship may also annul claims to land or property owned before flight, or bar participation in transitional justice initiatives, such as accessing reparations. More immediately, transnationalism facilitates access to certain rights potentially compromised by return, especially if involuntary, as can be the case under the cessation clause. The right to freedom of movement, already inherently violated under encampment, a default experience for many refugee populations in Africa, would be protected, and the compromised autonomy that is so central to forced displacement would be restored. Sustainable livelihoods, particularly through cross-border trade, often off-limits to refugees, could be pursued, anchoring economic rights. This also permits refugees’ gradual re-establishment in countries of origin, as to travel there at will, and for intermittent periods, avoids straining fragile post-conflict economies where community relations may be fraught, exiles resented by ‘stayees,’ and land disputes a risk. Transnational refugees may channel diaspora wealth, enriching countries of origin. Transnationalism loosens institutional frameworks predicated on simplistic, linear migration trajectories (flight, exile, home), corresponding more realistically to refugees’ multi-directional displacement and travel histories. It may decongest resettlement routes, maximising their protective potential for those in need. Blending ‘de facto local integration with de jure repatriation’ (Long, 2010, para. 146) creatively restructures the parameters of traditional humanitarian thinking and the citizenship-rights paradigm. This innovative approach helps re-examine ‘the idea that the political connections that exist between nation and state, or the cultural connections that associate people and place, are “natural” rather than constructed’ (Long, 2010, para. 27). To enable Rwandan refugees in this way, as proven generally successful with Sierra Leonean and Liberian refugees in ECOWAS countries (Economic Community of West African States), seems recommendable, particularly in the case of Rwandan refugees in Uganda, Burundi and some countries of asylum that have formally invoked cessation already. The experience of the ECOWAS regional integration bloc, comprising 15 states in West Africa, is a positive example of the transnationalism model. Refugees, including large populations of Sierra Leoneans and Liberians, who fled during
  19. 19. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 16 the 1990s, are explicitly entitled to make use of the bloc’s freedom of movement, residence, settlement and employment instruments, much like other migrants travelling within the region (ECOWAS, 2007). Host countries Nigeria and the Gambia worked with UNHCR, Sierra Leone and Liberia to re- issue national passports and workers’ visas to refugees from the latter two countries, allowing them to locally integrate, exercise their right to work and access regional labour markets (Adepoju et al., 2007). ‘Repatriating in situ’ bypassed the struggle for lengthy and costly naturalisation procedures or resettlement, as individuals transitioned from refugees to migrant workers. Defining ‘transnationalism’ as ‘regional citizenship’ (a term gaining currency in discussions of the ECOWAS example [Long, 2011b, p. 35]) arguably does more to instil a sense of cooperation among Member States than it does to accurately capture refugees’ realities. Indeed the citizenship that transnationalism envisages conferred on refugees is merely the formal restoration of the national citizenship once enjoyed in the country of origin, through a passport and a migrant visa. No such theories are without complications, however, and transnationalism’s applicability in the Rwanda-DRC context in particular should be studied, since movement of Rwandans to and from eastern DRC is highly politicised. Many Congolese fear Rwandan colonisation of eastern DRC (partly for mineral wealth), an opinion ‘so deeply rooted that even normal cross-border movements are from time to time portrayed as “infiltration” or even planned large-scale migration of Rwandans to eastern DRC’ (Lange, 2010, p. 49). Similarly, the rejection of Rwandan passports by refugees in Zambia (Chawe, 2013), citing fears of surveillance, illustrates that promoting transnationalism, or repatriation without return, would still be highly complex in this particular context. The mere 19 passports requested by Rwandan refugees in the Republic of Congo suggest a similar dynamic there. Independent investigation into individuals’ amenability to acquiring passports (and the measure of citizenship this can be understood to confer) whilst remaining abroad is therefore highly recommended in other Rwandan refugee diasporas, both in the region and in Europe and North America. On a more general scale, while supporting mobility as a route forward for protecting refugee rights, particularly in response to cessation clause-induced status loss, there is a fear that it is utopian against a backdrop of increasing border securitisation and anti-migration rhetoric. One disagrees with James
  20. 20. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 17 Hathaway’s critique that ‘emphasis on solutions “pathologizes” refugees and may be used to undercut enforcement of rights’ through rushing to ‘de-refugee’ people, reducing them to ‘persons to be managed’ (James Hathaway, cited in Aleinikoff & Poellot, 2012, p. 20). The opposite is true, that by paving another path refugees have another opportunity to ‘manage’ themselves in their chosen manner. It is precisely this transfer of autonomy that states seek, directly or indirectly, to resist: the borders are where state sovereignty is most readily challenged. Therefore UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Alexander Aleinikoff’s attempt to couch a response to states’ resistance in the discourse of human rights misfires. Hyperinflated rights speak, as discussed, does not speak to the deep-seated political motivations behind governments’ and voters’ aversion to refugees. Ironically, his project of constructing a ‘moral fulcrum’ to stimulate the protection of rights, contains no morality-based justifications, but is rather a legally positivist endeavour that rests exclusively on pinning down rights on paper. Alexander Aleinikoff and Stephen Poellot posit that ‘refugees have a right to a solution’ (2012, p. 6) under international human rights law, deriving from the right to a nationality found in UDHR Article 15. This relies on acceptance of UDHR as customary international law (a widespread, but not universal, viewpoint), and is somewhat convoluted. They submit that since membership in a national community is vital for the effective protection of human rights, and since refugees by definition lack membership, states’ legally binding commitment to human rights must necessitate that refugees be provided membership (Aleinikoff & Poellot, 2012, p. 8). They further this by marrying Article 35 of the Refugee Convention (states’ duty to co-operate with UNHCR) with Article 1 of the UNHCR Statute (‘seeking permanent solutions for the problem of refugees’), constructing a state duty to help solve protracted refugee situations. States, however, are unlikely to bow to inferred rights and duties in a legal framework they readily violate on other occasions. Although the limits of rights-speak are recognised and the proposal is thus extricated from a strictly legal framework and spun politically as a ‘responsibility to solve,’ in an attempt to piggy-back the popular evolving ‘responsibility to protect’ concept, one remains wary of this effort to cajole states into addressing protection challenges. The R2P discourse should not be conflated with refugee protection, given its many flaws (and in particular its privileging of powerful northern states whose refugee response efforts are frequently minimal or in bad faith), which are beyond the scope of this article.
  21. 21. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 18 Inclusive Understanding Reconceptualising the ways in which the international community can support refugees in upholding their own rights is therefore more necessary than ever, and at times even promising. Such thinking need not be radical: mobility-as- protection suggestions hark back to the Nansen passport era. This identity document’s aim was precisely to facilitate refugees’ search for employment by travel across international borders (Long, 2010). Responses must have refugees’ intensely political, persecution-generatedsubjectivities at their core; legal and institutional humility are needed. Human rights claims presented in alienating ‘legalese’ without concurrent efforts to speak to the prejudices and desires motivating harmful actions and policies on their own terms are unlikely to solve the challenges facing refugees. A focus on agency, not Agencies is needed, and strategies prioritised by refugees themselves must be taken on board by UN and other institutions. To excise refugees from their own management, particularly when rights violations arise from within the systems deployed for their protection, in well-meaning attempts to serve this diverse population group’s best interests risks rendering them a ‘transparent object of knowledge… abandoned to the discretions of public benevolence or private charity’ (Douzinas, 2000, p. 361). The desire to comprehend refugees’ perspectives by ‘domesticating’ such Other experiences into understandable frames of reference ‘has catastrophic results for the knowing subject…. By refuting the exteriority of the absolute other,’ Douzinas argues, they are rendered ‘non-subjects, [with] …no rights or entitlements’ (Douzinas, 2000, p. 362). This by no means implies that human rights are a superfluous explanatory framework for ordering and narrating traumatic personal experiences of dislocation; it merely requires that refugees be involved in shaping the discourse, and this is what troubles the gatekeepers of the international refugee governance regime. To enable a forced migrant to ‘represent the avant-garde of their people [and] …be considered for what he is… a border concept that radically calls into question the principles of the nation-state and, at the same time, helps clear the field for a no-longer-delayable renewal of categories’ (Agamben, 1995, p. 117), would entail a drastic reshuffle of the international monopoly on knowledge and a reassessment of ‘objective’ received wisdom and its relation to refugees’ subjective understanding of their own problems. It is doubtful that UN power hierarchies would loosen their grip on the hegemonic, international
  22. 22. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 19 perspective that ultimately balances community sentiments (where researched) with operational and political factors, and translates the resulting compromise into actionable policies. ‘We Refugees,’ the article in which Agamben espouses this need for a reshuffle, remains too radically inclusive a prospect to effectively democratise the mainstream. Alternatively, failure to acknowledge refugees’ views on how best to protect their rights may simply stem from operational inexpertise or indeed, as in eastern DRC, a reluctance to engage with complex political sensitivities. Whether down to inertia or constraints imposed by maintaining a façade of impartial neutrality, this ‘creates an environment in which widely expressed popular fears tend to become understood as established facts’ (Lange, 2010, p. 49). ‘Well-founded fear’ does not lend itself as easily to objective interpretation as is often assumed. Even admitting refugee voices into academic analysis of rights paradigms is hindered by the institutional need for credibility as demonstrated through peer-reviewed journals or INGO research. Consequently only mediated (and translated) refugee voices, with some few exceptions, enter the realm of refugee rights theorising. To ascribe discussions of repatriation without return through ECOWAS-style mobility solutions to non-traditional sources, such as Callixte Kanani’s report on UNHCR consultations with Rwandan refugee organisations, 2 featured on the highly partial campaign website ‘Rwandan Dialogue for Truth and Justice,’ necessitates a plethora of caveats regarding bias, and the representational issues around bodies claiming to speak on behalf of ‘civil society.’ However, to view communications issues and the misunderstandings of refugees they engender, as the root of challenges to refugee rights is disingenuous. As the controversy surrounding the application of the cessation clause to Rwandan refugees illustrates, institutional actors may be well aware of these challenges, but find themselves politically (or economically) constrained in responding. Such multifaceted pressures hamper conceptualisation of refugees as rights-holders, even within an entity born of a Convention establishing refugee rights. To expose these ‘unsettling examples of [how] …an 2 ‘…la solution qui sera proposée aux réfugiés intégrés est de solliciter un permis de séjour permanent qui suppose des démarches auprès des autorités de Kigali car un passeport rwandais est indispensable’ (Kanani, 2011, p. 2).
  23. 23. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 20 institution created to supervise and promote compliance with refugee law [is] prepared to distort that law in order to promote its own… priorities’ (Verdirame & Harrell-Bond, 2005, p. 113) underscores a more general tension; rights, as legal constructs, harbour their toughest challenges within. Interpretation of refugee rights laws is therefore crucial in order to engender policies that deliver effective protection. Recommending the invocation of the ceased circumstances cessation clauses for Rwandan refugees is an example of the opposite. Agencies must first acknowledge, and then address, institutional biases against refugees’ own perspectives and knowledge of their situation. Questioning received wisdom is therefore paramount, whether this is the accepted narrative of refugees’ desires to ‘go home,’ or the comfortable inclination towards well-worn ‘durable solutions’ to the exclusion of mobility- centric innovations. In the Rwandan cessation debate it is not too late to reinvigorate such discussions, and push for an outcome that is more rights- centric. Where it might take us depends entirely on the views of those refugees affected; meaningfully admitting their voices into academic and other spheres can be considered but an overdue starting point. References Primary 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1950 Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (OAU Convention) Secondary Adepoju, A., Boulton, A. and Levin M. 2007. Promoting integration through mobility: free movement and the ECOWAS Protocol. New Issues in Refugee Research. Research Paper No. 150. From < http://www.unhcr.org/476650ae2.pdf > (Retrieved January 27, 2015)
  24. 24. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 21 Agamben, G. 1995. We Refugees. Symposium, 49(2):114-119. Agamben, G. 1998. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Aleinikoff, T. A. and Poellot, S. 2012. The Responsibility to Solve. The Program on Law & Human Development, Working Paper Series #3, University of Notre Dame. From <http://www3.nd.edu/~ndlaw/prog-human-rights/working-papers/ AleinikoffResponsibility.pdf > (Retrieved April 13, 2013) BBC World News (BBC). 2010. Rwanda ex-army chief Nyamwasa shot in Johannesburg. From < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10358171 > (Retrieved April 14, 2013) BBC World News (BBC). 2011. Rwandan exiles in London ‘threatened by hitman.’ From < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13475635 > (Retrieved April 14, 2013) BBC World News (BBC). 2014. South Africa links Rwanda diplomats to attacks. From < http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26546105 > (Retrieved March 27, 2014) Cacharani J. and Cliche-Rivard G. 2013. June 30th Cessation Deadlines Inconclusive Conclusion. Rights in Exile. From < http://rightsinexile.tumblr.com/post/59864019053/june-30th-cessation- deadlines-inconclusive-conclusion > (Retrieved November 8, 2014) Chawe, M. 2013. Rwandan refugees in Zambia reject Kigali passports. From <http://www.africareview.com/News/Rwandan-refugees-in-Zambia-reject- Kigali-passports/-/979180/2078492/-/qsvn4c/-/index.html > (Retrieved September 27, 2014) Chimni, B. S. 2004. From Resettlement to Involuntary Repatriation: Towards a Critical History of Durable Solutions to Refugee Problems. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 23(3):55-73. Cliche-Rivard, G. 2012. Cessation Clause for Rwandan refugees raises questions. Pambazuka. From <
  25. 25. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 22 http://www.pambazuka.net/en/category/features/81821 > (Retrieved January 27, 2015) Cwik, M. E. 2011. Forced to Flee and Forced to Repatriate? How the Cessation Clause of Article 1c(5) and (6) of the 1951 Refugee Convention Operates in International Law and Practice. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 44(3):711-743. Douzinas, C. 2000. The end of human rights. Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing. Douzinas, C. 2009. What are human rights? From <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/mar/18/ human-rights-asylum > (Retrieved April 14, 2013) Douzinas, C. 2013. The paradoxes of Human Rights. Constellations, 20(2):51- 67. ECOWAS Commission (ECOWAS). 2007. Memorandum on Equality of treatment for refugees with other citizens of Member States of ECOWAS in the exercise of Free Movement, Right of Residence and Establishment. From <http://www.unhcr.org/49e47c8f0.pdf > (Retrieved January 27, 2015) Fahamu Refugee Programme (FAHAMU). 2013. NGO Statement on Africa – Extended Version, Agenda Item 3 (a) i. Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, Standing Committee, 56th Meeting. ICVA Network. From < https://icvanetwork.org/system/files/.../Africa_Written_FINAL_0.docx > (Retrieved November 8, 2014) Feller, E., Turk, V. and Nicholson, F. (Eds.). 2003. Refugee Protection in International Law: UNHCR’s Global Consultations on International Protection. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fitzpatrick, J. and Bonoan, R. 2003. Cessation of refugee protection. In: Feller, E., Turk, V. and Nicholson, F. (Eds.). Refugee Protection in International Law: UNHCR’s Global Consultations on International Protection. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 491-544. Government of Rwanda. 2013. Rwanda ready to receive all returning refugees as cessation clause comes into effect. From <
  26. 26. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 23 http://www.gov.rw/Rwanda-ready-to-receive-all-returning-refugees-as- cessation-comes-into-effect?lang=en > (Retrieved November 20, 2014) Harris Rimmer, S. 2010. Reconceiving refugees and internally displaced persons as transitional justice actors. UNHCR Policy Development and Evaluation Service. From < http://www.unhcr.org/4bbb2a589.pdf > (Retrieved April 13, 2013) Hathaway, J. C. 2005. The Rights of Refugees under International Law. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Hovil, L. 2010. A Dangerous Impasse: Rwandan Refugees in Uganda. Citizenship and Displacement in the Great Lakes Region. Working Paper No. 4. International Refugee Rights Initiative and Refugee Law Project. From < http://www.refugee-rights.org/Publications/Papers/ 2010/10_08_30_Dangerous_Impasse.pdf > (Retrieved April 13, 2013) Hovil, L. 2013. Playing with people’s lives: the plight of Rwandan refugees in the Great Lakes region. International Refugee Rights Initiative. From < http://www.refugee-rights.org/blog/?p=361 > (Retrieved November 8, 2014) Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). 2013. No consensus on implementation of cessation clause for Rwandan refugees. From < http://www.irinnews.org/fr/report/98409/no-consensus-on- implementation-of-cessation-clause-for-rwandan-refugees > (Retrieved March 27, 2014) Kanani, C. 2011. Rwanda/HCR: Cessation de statut de réfugié repoussée. From < http://rdtj.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Cessation-Callixte- Kanani.pdf > (Retrieved April 15, 2013) Lange, M. 2010. Refugee return and root causes of conflict. Forced Migration Review, 36(1):48-49. Long, K. 2009. Extending protection? Labour migration and durable solutions for refugees. New Issues in Refugee Research. Research Paper No. 176. From < http://www.unhcr.org/4c03826b9.pdf > (Retrieved January 27, 2015)
  27. 27. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 24 Long, K. 2010. Home alone? A review of the relationship between repatriation, mobility and durable solutions for refugees. UNHCR Policy Development and Evaluation Service. From < http://www.unhcr.org/4b97afc49.html > (Retrieved April 15, 2013) Long, K. 2011a. Refugee Protection, Solutions and Migration. DRAFT. From < http://tinyurl.com/cc2xsm3 > (Retrieved April 15, 2013) Long, K. 2011b. Permanent crises? Unlocking the protracted displacement of refugees and internally displaced persons. Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. From < http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/files/publications/policy-briefing-series/pb- unlocking-protracted-displacement-2011.pdf > (Retrieved 27 January, 2015) Long, K. and Crisp, J. Migration, mobility and solutions: an evolving perspective. Forced Migration Review, 35(2010):56-57. Longman, T. 2011. Countries at the Crossroads 2011: Rwanda. From < https://freedomhouse.org/report/countries- crossroads/2011/rwanda#.VMd9UWSUcxc > (Retrieved 27 January, 2015) Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR). 2011. PRESS RELEASE: No Rwandan Refugees After 2011. From < http://southafrica.embassy.gov.rw/index.php?id=1061&L=0&tx_ttnews%5B tt_news%5D=47&cHash=4f3e0dc528fccc58a2f46d0158f57980 > (Retrieved November 20, 2014) New Times. 2014a. Rwanda calls for Cessation Clause to be implemented. From < http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/article/2014-10-02/181531/ > (Retrieved November 8, 2014) New Times. 2014b. Implementing Cessation Clause is an obligation. From < http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/article/2014-10-03/181544/ > (Retrieved November 8, 2014) Pottier, J. 1996. Relief and Repatriation: Views by Rwandan Refugees; Lessons for Humanitarian Aid Workers. African Affairs, 95(378):403-429. Pottier, J. 1999. The ‘Self’ in Self-Repatriation: Closing Down Mugunga Camp, Eastern Zaire. In: Black, R. and Koser, K. (Eds.). The end of the refugee cycle?
  28. 28. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 25 Refugee repatriation and reconstruction. Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 142- 170. Réunion Tripartite. 2013a. Réunion Tripartite sur la Cessation du Statut de Refugié des Refugiés Rwandais en République du Congo, 26-27 November 2013. Compte Rendu. Réunion Tripartite. 2013b. Réunion Tripartite sur la Cessation du Statut de Refugié des Refugiés Rwandais en République du Congo, 26-27 November 2013. Notes from a Participant. Siddiqui, Y. 2011. Reviewing the application of the Cessation Clause of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees in Africa. Working Paper Series No. 76. Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. From < http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/publications/working-papers-folder_contents/ RSCworkingpaper76.pdf > (Retrieved April 13, 2013) Straus, S. and Waldorf, L. (Eds.). 2011. Remaking Rwanda: State Building and Human Rights after Mass Violence. Madison, Wisconsin and London: University of Wisconsin Press. UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 1992. Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, Conclusion No. 69 (XLIII). UN Doc A/AC.96/804. UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 1999. The Cessation Clauses: Guidelines on their Application. From < http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/3c06138c4.pdf > (Retrieved April 13, 2013) UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2003. Guidelines on International Protection No. 3: Cessation of Refugee Status under Article 1C(5) and (6) of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (the “Ceased Circumstances” Clauses). HCR/GIP/03/03. From < http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/3e50de6b4.pdf > (Retrieved April 13, 2013) UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2010. UNHCR condemns forced return of 1,700 Rwandans from Uganda. From < http://www.unhcr.org/4c406edb6.html > (Retrieved April 14, 2013)
  29. 29. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 26 UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2011a. Guidelines on Exemption Procedures in respect of Cessation Declarations. From < http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/4eef5c3a2.pdf > (Retrieved April 13, 2013) UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2011b. Implementation of the Comprehensive Strategy for the Rwandan Refugee Situation, including UNHCR’s recommendations on the applicability of the “ceased circumstances” cessation clauses. UN Doc IOM/093- FOM/094/2011. From < http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/4f33a1642.pdf > (Retrieved April 14, 2013) UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2011c. Global Trends Report, Data Table Annexes, Table 12. From < http://www.unhcr.org/4fd9e6266.html > (Retrieved September 27, 2014) UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2012. Global Trends Report, Data Table Annexes, Table 12. From <http://www.acnur.org/t3/fileadmin/Documentos/Estadisticas/2013/ Global_Trends_2012_Annexes.pdf?view=1 > (Retrieved September 27, 2014) UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2013. Global Trends Report, Data Table Annexes, Table 12. From < http://unhcr.org/trends2013/ > (Retrieved September 27, 2014). Van Hear, N. 2006. Refugees in Diaspora: From Durable Solutions to Transnational Relations. Refuge, 23(1):9-14. Verdirame, G. and Harrell-Bond, B. 2005. Rights in Exile: Janus-faced Humanitarianism. New York: Berghahn Books.
  30. 30. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 27 Macroeconomic Immigration Determinants: an Analysis of ‘Pull’ Factors of International Migration to South Africa Mulugeta F. Dinbabo3 and Themba Nyasulu4 Abstract This research empirically examines the macroeconomic determinants of ‘pull’ factors of international migration in South Africa. Using the neoclassical economic model of international migration, an Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression was run on time-series data from the World Bank database for the period 1990-2012. Relevant data from the South African Department of Home Affairs’ Annual Reports were also used. GDP per capita, inflation rate, real interest rate, employment rate and public health expenditure were found to be the key determinants which entice migrants away from their countries and direct them to “better off” destinations. The country’s public education system, on the other hand, is not a significant attraction for foreign migrants. The study concludes that the South African government urgently needs to implement not only skilled worker-attractive immigration policies, but also appropriate fiscal and monetary restructuring policies aimed at growing the economy and creating employment opportunities. Keywords: Education, employment, foreigners, government, inflation, international, migration, ‘Pull’ factors and South Africa 3 Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Social Development, Faculty of Economic & Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. He obtained a PhD in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. E-mail: mdinbabo@uwc.ac.za 4 Independent Development Economics Researcher. He obtained an MA Economics (Development) from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
  31. 31. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 28 Introduction International migration is an escalating practice of our times. This process whereby millions of people flow across traditional social and geographical boundaries has altered the global landscape (Hatton, 1995; Lee, 1926). The decision to emigrate depends on a combination of factors, such as lack of social security and justice, political instability, a low level of confidence in the state, as well as better opportunities for work abroad (Kurunova, 2013). However, these flows generate socio-economic and political challenges in migrant destination countries and have thus raised complex questions for policy makers and researchers. In this response, researchers (Castles, 2010; Hatton, 1995; Lee, 1926; Mayda 2003; Mayda, 2010; Nwajiuba, 2005; Rodrick 1995; Stark, 1984; Taylor, 1999) have developed a wide range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks (both econometric and mathematical) aimed at analysing international migration. For example Kurunova (2013) indicates that each theory of international migration focuses on a separate aspect of the migration relationship, such as factors that ‘push’ or ‘pull’ migrants, globalisation factors of migration, migration networks, migration implications for the labour market in host countries or the countries of origin, and the impact of migration on income distribution in a given region. The aim of this research is to provide an empirical investigation into the macroeconomic determinants of ‘pull’ factors of international migration in South Africa, using the neoclassical economic model of international migration. However, in order to make a case for an empirical analysis, the presence of reliable statistical data is very important, although at the same time the research is limited by it. In this particular research, apart from focusing on registered migration because only official statistics is readily available, selected ‘pull’ factors such as GDP per capita, inflation rate, real interest rate, employment rate, public health expenditure and education expenditure are also included. Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression was run on time-series data for the period 1990-2012 collected from the World Bank data base and the South African Department of Home Affairs. Results of the study show that GDP per capita, inflation rate, real interest rate, employment rate and public health expenditure are important migration ‘pull’ factors. The paper is organised as follows. Section 1 gives a general introduction to international migration. Section 2 presents a background to past and recent
  32. 32. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 29 trends in international migration in South Africa. Section 3 reviews literature on the subject and generates a theoretical framework for the study. Section 4 presents the econometric techniques used. Section 5 shows and discusses the empirical results. Section 6 presents the conclusions and policy recommendations. Background The issue of international immigration into South Africa has a long history spanning several centuries. Cross (2000) observes that its beginnings can certainly be traced to 19th Century white settlement and the consequent establishment of colonial rule, when hundreds of thousands of Europeans permanently immigrated to the country. Thereafter, the opening up of large sugar cane fields in Natal also attracted large flows of immigrants especially from India, as did the establishment of diamond and gold mines in Kimberly and on the Witwatersrand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which brought in large numbers of laborers from several neighboring countries such as Mozambique, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. From the beginning of the early 20th century South Africa’s population contained a sizeable foreign migrant stock. The 1911 Census for example, revealed that foreign migrants from neighboring countries made up 6 percent of South Africa’s total population. The foreign migrant stock reached a total of 836, 000 in 1961 (Peberdy, 1997). Ayala et al. (2013) observe that even though there is no reliable data on the exact immigrant numbers, especially during the pre-Apartheid period, there are at least four international immigration routes that are known in the country’s history. These include: contract labourers on the mines, informal immigrants to work in the construction and service sectors, refugees from the Mozambican conflict; and white ‘asylum seekers’ from neighbouring countries. The imposition of a white-supremacist form of government (Apartheid) in 1948 had a profound effect on South Africa’s migration policy (Peberdy and Crush, 2000). Successive Apartheid governments pursued a racially-oriented policy favouring white immigration while at the same time restricting black/African and later on Jewish inflows into the country. Even though successive Apartheid governments recognised the need for cheap foreign labour to work on the mines and farms, they only encouraged clandestine immigration from neighbouring countries and also blocked foreign immigrants from acquiring temporary or permanent South African residency.
  33. 33. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 30 In contrast, white immigrants escaping from political uncertainty in newly- independent African countries such as Zambia, Kenya, and Zimbabwe were offered citizenship between 1960 and 1980 in order to boost the white population in South Africa (Peberdy, 1997; Peberdy & Crush, 1998). The above authors observe that some of the significant colonial and Apartheid-era restrictive migration laws were passed in the years 1913, 1930, 1937 and 1991. With the end of Apartheid and the consequent ushering in of the democratic era in the country in 1994, the African National Congress-led government has continued pursuing a more restrictive migration policy in the post-Apartheid era (Crush & Peberdy, 2003). Apart from giving out a few amnesties to political asylum-seekers and refugees from some Sub-Sahara African countries, the South African government has generally shown little appetite for immigration. For example, legal labour migration to the country has been on the decline since the early 1990s, as the more restrictive policies put in place have made it difficult for employers to obtain work permits for foreign contract workers (Crush & McDonald, 2003). Despite these restrictive migration policies, international migration into South Africa has continued to surge. The majority of migrants have come from Sub-Saharan African countries mainly in search of employment and other economic opportunities in this regional economic super-power (Adepoju, 1998). The increase in economic immigrants primarily from neighbouring countries has occasionally been met with hostility from the generally poor and unemployed sections of South African society who view foreign migrants as direct competitors for jobs in the primary sectors of the economy. This hostility erupted into violent xenophobic attacks in May, 2008 when several small-scale businesses mainly owned by Zimbabwean, Mozambican, and Malawian immigrants were destroyed by groups of South Africans across several cities (Friebel, Gallego & Mendola; 2013). Klotz (2000) notes that each year hundreds of thousands migrants from all over the world come to South Africa legally and illegally in search of socio- economic and political opportunities. Kok et al. (2006) categorise these migration inflows into three groups, namely labour mobility, refugees, and permanent migrants. At present it is estimated that the total foreign population in South Africa ranges between seven and eight million. This constitutes approximately 5.7 percent of the country’s total population of 51 million (Stats SA, 2012). Although there is significant dispute with regard to
  34. 34. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 31 the exact number of illegal immigrants, the same cannot be said about the statistics of foreign people living in the country legally. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) shows that a total of 142,833 temporary residence permits (TRPs) and permanent residence permits (PRPs) were issued to foreign nationals by the Department of Home Affairs in 2012. In fact, 45.6 percent of the TRPs were issued to nationals from overseas countries (mainly India, China, Pakistan, and Britain), while 54.4 percent were issued to people from the African continent (mainly Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Lesotho). On the other hand, people from the overseas countries accounted for 46.8 percent of PRPs while those originating from the African continent constituted 53.2 percent of the total PRPs issued in 2012 (Stat SA; 2013). From the above description and other available literature, there seems to be considerable agreement among researchers that economic factors are the main driver of immigration to South Africa. For example the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) observes that the majority of African migrants who go to South Africa do so simply because conditions in their countries of origin have plummeted to a point below their tolerance threshold. . A prime example is the high number of Zimbabwean immigrants currently residing in the South Africa. The organisation further points out that the main driving force is the ‘pull’ of opportunity in the destination country, as well as the ‘push’ of abject poverty in their places of origin (Crush & Frayne, 2007). Adepoju (2000) observes that socio-economic insecurity, abject poverty and extreme unemployment in some rural areas of Africa have transformed what could otherwise have been internal migration to urban centres into international emigration to neighbouring, more prosperous nations such as South Africa. But despite this consensus on economic forces that drive migrants out of their countries of origin, very little is known about the macroeconomic factors that attract (‘pull’) people to South Africa. The majority of studies (Lucas, 1987; Bhorat et al., 2002; Wocke and Klein, 2002; Bhorat, 2004; Waller, 2006; Lindau and Segatti, 2009; Crush and Williams, 2010; Friebel et al., 2013; Mayda et al., 2013) that have been conducted so far on the subject in the country seem to focus mainly on migration trends and migration effects on the labour market, but not on its macroeconomic determinants. Against this background therefore; it is evident that there is a major knowledge gap in the key macroeconomic determinants of international migration in South Africa and
  35. 35. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 32 how these ‘pull’ factors have affected the foreign migrant inflows into the country in the post-Apartheid era. This study aims, therefore, not only to fill this gap but also to come up with relevant policy recommendations that can help the country maximise the benefits of this human inflow. Furthermore, the aim of this paper is to provide macroeconomic suggestions that could help stem the rising tide of xenophobic feelings against foreigners which are held mainly by the impoverished and unemployed section of the South African population which perceives immigrants as a direct opponents vying for their jobs and other economic opportunities. Literature Review There is a great deal of literature (Castles, 2010; Hatton, 1995; Lee, 1926; Mayda 2003; Mayda, 2010; Nwajiuba, 2005; Rodrick 1995; Stark, 1984; Taylor, 1999) on international migration both in developed and developing countries. The majority of these migration theories seek to explain the causes and effects of the movement of people across a specified boundary for the purpose of establishing a new or semi-permanent residence. Two of the major migration theories include Ravenstein’s theory of migration, and the ‘pull-push’ theory of migration. The following section analyses the key understanding of these major theories, and traces their main principles and practical applications. Ravenstein theory of migration. Ernst Georg Ravenstein (1834-1913) developed a theory of human migration which today is still considered the backbone of the modern migration theory. Using a combination of individual rational choice theory, Newtonian physics, and other rural-urban and developmental perspectives he came up with empirical generalisations on the flow of human beings between places. These empirical generalisations which have come to be called ‘Ravenstein’s Laws of Migration’ were mainly developed from British and other European census data in the 1800s (Ravenstein; 1885). de Haas (2009) gives a summary of these seven laws as follows: (1) most migration occurs within a short distance; (2) The majority of migration movements are from agricultural to industrial regions; (3) expansion of most bigger town centres is as a result of migration rather than natural growth; (4) migration develops in tandem with industrial, commercial and transportation expansion; (5) every migration flow produces a counter- flow; (6) Most women undertake short distance migration while the majority
  36. 36. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 33 of men indulge in international migration; (7) economic causes are at the centre of most migration flows. ‘Pull-Push’ theory of migration. This theory largely builds on Ravenstein ‘laws of migration’. According to King (2012) the ‘pull-push’ migration theory argues that migration comes about because of economic and socio-political factors present in both the source and destination migration countries. Factors such as poverty, unemployment, political repression, poverty etc. drive out (‘push’) people out of their home (source) countries. On the other hand, there also factors present in the destination countries which pull or attract migrants; these include better income and employment prospects, better social welfare services, political freedom etc. Lee (1966) adds that for the ‘pull and push’ factors to effectively influence migration there are several intervening obstacles that must be overcome. These obstacles can be physical (e.g. distance), economic (e.g. financial cost of migration), political (international borders), and cultural barriers (e.g. language problems). He further observes that personal factors also play a vital role in migration since people’s response to the ‘pull and push’ stimuli will vary depending of their socio-economic and cultural orientation. From the above theoretical background several models explaining migration have been developed, and these are normally classified in two categories: (1) theoretical models that describe the initiation process of migration; and (2) models that explain the continuation process of migration. Models Explaining the Initiation and Process of International Migration The literature identifies a variety of theoretical models (Massey et al., 1993, 1998; Schoorl, 1995) that can be used to model the effects of migration. In the early 1950s, in particular, there was a large body of literature produced on migration. This research does not propose to review all of this literature, nor all of the models available. It surveys some of the main models explaining the initiation and process of international migration. A brief description of models explaining the initiation and process of international migration is given below in Table 1. Table 1: Models explaining the initiation and process of migration Models explaining the initiation of international migration Theories Brief description theories
  37. 37. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 34 Neoclassical Economic Theory The theory argues that real wage differences between countries drive people from lower to higher wage regions. This trend continues until wages in all regions equalize and migration stops (Massey et al., 1993, 1998; Borjas, 1989). Dual Labour Market Theory The dual labour market states that international migration is determined by ‘push’ (supply) and ‘pull’ (demand) factors in migrant sending and receiving countries respectively. Demand pressures generated in primary sectors of labour markets of more developed countries stimulate the supply of international labour migration from less developed countries (Piore, 1979). New Economics of Labour Migration Theory This theory states that migration flows and patterns cannot be explained solely at the level of individual workers and their economic incentives, but that wider social entities must be considered as well. Remittances, and more importantly the possibility of achieving an uninterrupted flow of household income, are the main drivers of international migration (Stark & Bloom, 1985; Taylor, 1999) Relative Deprivation Theory The theory indicates that awareness among individuals of the existence of income/wage differentials between migrant- sending countries and migrant-receiving nations is the main incentive for international migration (Stark & Taylor, 1993). World Systems Theory The basic argument of the theory is that the reliance on the international market has led to richer countries (core countries) dominating transitional capital at the expense of poor countries (semi-peripheral and core countries). The unequal exchange results in migration from poorer to richer countries (Wallerstein, 1983; Amankwaa, 1995). Models explaining the process of international migration Network Theory The theory argues that international flows of people between countries generate networks of migrants and other person-to- person linkages between the migrant sending countries and the receiving countries which serve to perpetuate more migration (Esveldt et al., 1995). Institutional Theory The theory shows that the international outflow and inflow of migrants attracts and generates both legal and illegal profit and charity organisations which help in perpetuating this tendency by offering financial, material, legal, and logistical support to immigrants (Massey et al., 1993). In synthesizing all the above theories it is clear that economic factors have played a very crucial role in the development of international migration theory.
  38. 38. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 35 Even though at first glance network and institutional theories do not seem to place significant emphasis on economic variables, a close examination of the two theories reveals that their vital aspects can be rendered important drivers of migration. As clearly argued by Jenissen (2004), the presence of a large migrant network will not only reduce the costs of migration but will also increase the chances of migrants obtaining jobs in the receiving country. A similar situation avails where institutions created because of migration flows also reduce the cost of migration. Empirical Studies Targeting the Macroeconomic Determinants Several empirical studies (e.g. Bach, 2003; Jerome, 1926; Kelley, 1965; Lichfield and Waddington, 2003; McDonald and Crush, 2002; Nwajiuba, 2005; Tsegai and Plotnikova, 2004; Wentzel and Bosman, 2001; Wentzel and Viljoen, 2006; Wouterse and Van den Berg, 2004) have been undertaken by researchers across the globe specifically targeting the macroeconomic determinants of migration. For example, Jerome (1926) was one of the first to study this issue. He examined United States (US) immigration from Europe over a hundred year period prior to the imposition of U.S. immigration quotas in the 1920s and concluded that economic conditions in the United States were primarily responsible for short-cycle movements in European emigration to the U.S. On a similar note, Kelley (1965), in agreement with Jerome’s findings, also observed that economic factors, mainly employment opportunities, were the main reason for the rising emigration of people from Britain to Australia between 1865 and 1935. All the different migration models employed in his analysis confirmed the above findings. Several similar studies have also been undertaken in Africa. In one such study aimed at establishing the main reason for migration from Nigeria to other countries, Nwajiuba (2005) found that economic factors account for 80 percent of the reasons people are attracted to foreign nations, while educational factors take up only 18 percent of the ‘pull’ factors. In Burkina Faso, Wouterse and Van den Berg (2004) found that employment opportunities and the possibility of earning higher income lure the country’s poor households into migrating to other African countries. On the other hand, richer Burkinabe households are attracted to overseas countries by the
  39. 39. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 36 perceived wealth accumulation prospects present in those countries. In a cross-border migration study targeting the causes of migration by Mozambicans and Zimbabweans into South Africa, Wentzel and Bosman (2001) found that macroeconomic variables were the main determinant. Indeed the two authors found that nationals of the above countries were compelled to emigrate because South Africa offered these people better employment prospects, higher wages, lower average prices of goods, and a more stable currency value relative to their home countries. This study also found that non-economic factors had a very insignificant ‘pull’ effect on cross- border migration to South Africa. McDonald and Crush (2002) conducted several studies to determine the factors that attract international immigrants to South Africa and Botswana. Among all the considered variables, the study found that the economic attraction of the above economies is the main ‘pull’ factor that lures international migrants. In a similar vein, the 2001-02 HRSC international migration survey conducted by Brown University also found that more than two-thirds of all international skilled migrants come to South Africa because of the lure of finding not only ‘suitable’ employment opportunities but also increasing their income earnings (Wentzel & Viljoen, 2006). Despite the dominance of economic factors in the international migration literature, some surveys show that non-economic factors are the main determinants of migration flows between countries. Researchers such as Lichfield and Waddington (2003), and Tsegai and Plotnikova (2004) found that in Ghana more-qualified citizens are more likely to migrate than less- qualified citizens. They therefore conclude that the likelihood of migration increases with education. Similarly, Bach (2003) found that emigration of South African nurses to Britain has largely been driven by nurses associations and other networks of the South African diaspora present in the destination country. With the above contradiction in the empirical literature it is therefore necessary to conduct empirical research to determine whether or not economic (macroeconomic) factors are the main ‘pull’ factors for migration to South Africa. Econometric Techniques Used Todaro and Smith (2009) note that models play a major role in econometric studies, whether theoretical or applied. According to them, a model is a simplified representation of an actual phenomenon. The actual phenomenon
  40. 40. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 37 is represented by the model in order to explain it, to predict it, and to control it, goals corresponding to the three purposes of econometrics, namely structural analysis, forecasting, and policy evaluation. In order to analyse the macroeconomic determinants of immigration into South Africa the study employed a theoretical framework largely based on the Neoclassical Economic Theory of Migration. Essentially this theory which was founded by Todaro (1969) and Todaro and Harris (1970), views migration as emanating from differences in endowments of labour relative to capital. The resultant wage differentials drive workers to vacate low-wage, labour-surplus regions in favour of high-wage, labour-scarce regions. Simply put, migration is an economically rational process in which people move from their places of origin to new areas when their net present value income calculation in the new area is greater than the average income in their place of origin (Todaro & Smith, 2009). It is clear therefore that the theory looks at economic factors such as utility maximization, wage and other factor-price differentials, and ease of labour movement and substitution as the main determinants that drive out and attract people in the process of migration. According to Massey et al. (1998) these economic factors operate at both the micro and macro levels of the economy. The above researchers argue that migration occurs at the macroeconomic level as a result of uneven distribution of labour in relation to other production factors. On the micro level, it is argued that migration occurs on the household and individual level because people use the information available and make rational choices on whether or not to migrate based on informed cost-benefit analyses. To this end researchers such as Sjaastad (1962) and Borjas (1989) derived calculus migration models depicting how individuals come up with decisions to migrate both to areas within and outside their countries, taking into account the costs and benefits of the process. An illustration of this concept is given by Massey et al. (1993) who incorporate computations of probability of escaping deportation from the receiving country, the probability of securing employment in both the country of destination and country of origin and a time component (t). This is specified in the model below as follows: ER (0) = ʃ0t [P1 (t) P2 (t) Yd (t) - P3 (t) Y0 (t)] e-rt dt – C (0)
  41. 41. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 38 ER (0): expected net return to migration just before departure at time 0 P1 (t): probability of avoiding deportation from the area of destination P2 (t): probability of finding work in the destination country P3 (t): probability of finding work in the country of origin Yd (t): total earnings if employed in the country of destination Y0 (t): total earnings if employed in the country of origin r: rate of discount C (0): total of the cost of migrating From the above formulation, Massey et al. (1993) observe that if the expected net return to migration has a value greater than zero, rationality demands that the individual migrate. On the other hand, if the value is negative then a rational individual stays in his/her home country. Suffice to say that when an individual is faced with a positive net return on migration for several countries, rationality will drive him/her to the country with the greatest value. Borjas (1989) therefore indicates that the neo-classical theory emphasises the importance of taking into account labour market structures, human capital and income distribution both in the country of origin and the country of destination in explaining the individuals’ choice of where to migrate. Even though the theory was initially designed to explain rural-urban migration, it has of late been extensively applied to analysing the determinants of international migration. In this regard, Malmberg (1999) points out that some of the advantages of Neoclassical Model of Migration are that it forms the basis of most of the migration models. In addition, Malmberg (1999) argues that the model has a clear logic and simple economic explanation of the causes of both internal and international migration. De Haas (2009) observes that the strength of the neoclassical theory of migration is its dynamism in explaining and forecasting the initial conditions in which it took place. The author further observes that the theory perceives migration as a mode of optimally allocating factors of production. Holding other things constant, migration influences labour to become scarcer in the sending than in the origin region. The opposite occurs with the capital factor of production. Schiff (1997) states that this leads to equalisation of factors of production as wages converge in both the migration source and the destination countries. With this convergence of wages and factor prices, the above researcher argues that migration stops as wage differentials and cost of migration equalise in the long-run.
  42. 42. AHMR, Vol. 1 No. 1, January – April, 2015 39 Despite the above strengths the Neoclassical Theory of Migration is criticised for its minor emphasis on structure and agency which are important notions in social relations (Castles, 2010). The crux of the critique is that since the theory emphasises perfect information and human behaviour as aggregated, it reduces individuals to ‘automatons’ who passively respond to macro-level ‘pull-push’ migration determinants. Its critics argue, therefore, that the theory has limited power to explain migration transformations and social relation patterns (de Haas, 2010). Formulation of the Empirical Model and Measurement As already alluded to, a considerable amount of empirical literature is available on international migration econometric modelling including authoritative empirical surveys conducted by Borjas (1989, 1994, 1999); Ghatak et al., (1996);, and Mitchel and Pain (2002. These studies have suggested that it is not only macroeconomic factors but also socio-political conditions in receiving countries that attract emigrants. However, since this study contains a small dataset of 22 observations, it is not possible to incorporate all the macroeconomic determinants suggested by some of the above authoritative studies. Instead this study attempts to build an econometric model based on the theoretical foundation set by the Neoclassical Economic Model of Migration as expounded by researchers such as Ahmad et al., 2008; Brucker et al., 2003; and Mitchell and Pain, 2003. The above models look at international migration as a function of various macroeconomic variables. Mathematically this is depicted by the formulation below. IM = f (Ui, ...,Un) Where IM represents international migration into South Africa, and U gives a set of macroeconomic variables that attract foreign migrants to the country. Following the neoclassical theoretical framework and the majority of empirical studies carried out on the subject, the model considered the following macroeconomic variables: employment rate (ER); per capita gross domestic product (GDPPC); inflation rate (INFLR); government spending on health and educators (PUBEXPH and PUBEXPEDU); and employment rate (EMPR). Therefore the relationship between international migration and the

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